They have been flying free for centuries in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. And now you can spot them in northeastern Pennsylvania? They’re green, gawking, and gregarious. They didn’t build their nest in a forest or swamp, but across the street from my own elementary school on a telephone pole. I’m talking about Monk Parakeets, of course!
Monk Parakeets are an introduced species to the United States (brought first to the US around 1960), which means they are not a naturally occurring species in our country. These birds have historically nested for past decades in New York City and Edgewater, New Jersey. Considered a ‘pest bird’ by some because of there loud calls, these birds create structurally magnificent nests most frequently atop transformers attached to telephone poles. Nests are sometimes removed by the companies associated with the electrical equipment for safety and security precautions.
Who knows how long the Monk Parakeets will stay in Wilkes-Barre? It would be great to see their shimmering green feathers light up the city for years to come. I think it is really cool to say that parakeets nest by my house. Whenever I tell someone this, even if they are not a birder, they are intrigued and show an interest in trying to see the birds. So far I have only noticed two birds at the nest site, but I have a feeling we will be seeing baby birds very soon. If you would like to visit the Monk Parakeets, they are located on Old River Road (right between an elementary school and a football field).
— Christopher James Bohinski